Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: ILB Hayes Pullard, USC
6-0, 240 pounds
Hometown: Inglewood, CA
40 yard: 4.78
3 cone: 7.07
News and Notes:
With all the common 1st-2nd round inside linebacker prospects done, its now time to look at some players further down on the draft board who could offer some great value in the later rounds. Hayes Pullard is one of the leaders of the USC defense and one of its most productive with 377 tackles and 20 pass breakups in 4 seasons and all conference honors in all 4 seasons. His combine and pro day numbers are rather nondescript and it doesn’t help all too much that he’s not the optimal size at just 6’0″ but Hayes can still be a quality player at the NFL if used properly.
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “Pullard wasn’t sure what position he would play when he arrived at USC, but ended up leading the Trojans in tackles three of the last four seasons, starting 51 total games. He has his size limitations, but is a feisty, instinctive defender with a nose for the ball and quick burst to close, putting him in position to make plays. Although he can get lost in traffic at times, Pullard is savvy enough to slip past blockers and make controlled stops. He won’t be a fit for every scheme, but at worst projects as a special teams player at the next level.”
- NFL.com: “Athletic linebacker who falls into a habit of letting plays come to him rather than making things happen. While lacking an aggressive strike as a tackler, Pullard has the athleticism to be a solid NFL player. He has to find a scheme that can keep him clean or he might be just another linebacker”
- A pretty decent tackler, is able to make the play even if he’s in a poor angle. Isn’t much of an agressive tackler, more willing to let the ball get to him but no more.
- Decent in coverage, has fluid enough hips to stick with receivers for the standard 2 seconds
- Probably isn’t fast enough to be a true sideline to sideline player but has good functional range.
- Best trait might be his ability to disengage with blockers; shows the ability to avoid cut blocks and can peel off blockers when they get to his level. Tends to slip by blockers rather than powering through them.
If drafted by the Packers
Is Pullard a worth a premium pick? Probably not, but with the state of the Green Bay Packers’ inside linebacker corps, I would be surprised to see ILB addressed early and late and Pullard offers some tantalizing potential in the later rounds. Pullard has special teams experience at USC and was a leader for the team, two aspects that are sorely needed on the team. Pullard is also less of a thumper and more of an all rounded player. With some coaching up and experience, Pullard could be a quality rotation player and at the very worse could be a functional special teams player.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.